Manitoba

Province to contribute up to $11.95M in tax rebates for True North Square

The Manitoba government says it will provide as much as $11.95 million in tax increment financing to help develop the True North Square public plaza project.

City approved $3.2M in tax-increment financing for project last March

The province says it will provide up to $11.95 million in funding for True North Square by providing rebates of future property taxes. (City of Winnipeg)

The Manitoba government says it will contribute as much as $11.95 million in tax-increment financing for the development of True North Square's public plaza.

Tax-increment financing means new property tax revenue that results from improvements to a piece of land is either returned to the property owner or spent on public amenities in the immediate area.

The public plaza is part of a $400-million project that involves the construction of four towers, a parkade and more than one million square feet of office, residential, retail and restaurant space in downtown Winnipeg.

Last March, Winnipeg's city council voted 14-2 in favour of tax-increment financing of up to $3.2 million for the first phase of True North's $400-million development.

The funding was contingent on similar tax rebates from the province, which would cover the remainder of the $8.9-million tab for the public plaza.

But up until now, the province had yet to sign on.

In a news release, Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton said Monday's announcement demonstrates his government's commitment to the development of downtown Winnipeg.

"More Winnipeggers are choosing to live downtown and grants such as these keep the momentum of downtown revitalization going by stimulating private investment."

The plaza is set to officially open on Sept. 27.

The first tower at 242 Hargrave St., an office and retail building, opened in June 2018, while the second tower, at 225 Carlton St., a 25-storey residential rental building with office and retail space, is expected to open by spring 2019.

The province also plans to provide tax-increment financing to help complete the second phase of the project, which involves a hotel and residential site on the west side of Carlton Street, north of the Winnipeg convention centre. 

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